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  1. #1
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    First Evidence of Viking-Like 'Sunstone' Found

    First Evidence of Viking-Like 'Sunstone' Found

    MAR 11, 2013 05:30 AM ET // BY MEGAN GANNON, LIVE SCIENCE





    Ancient lore has suggested that the Vikings used special crystals to find their way under less-than-sunny skies. Though none of these so-called "sunstones" have ever been found at Viking archaeological sites, a crystal uncovered in a British shipwreck could help prove they did indeed exist.

    The crystal was found amongst the wreckage of the Alderney, an Elizabethan warship that sank near the Channel Islands in 1592. The stone was discovered less than 3 feet (1 meter) from a pair of navigation dividers, suggesting it may have been kept with the ship's other navigational tools, according to the research team headed by scientists at the University of Rennes in France.

    A chemical analysis confirmed that the stone was Icelandic Spar, or calcite crystal, believed to be the Vikings' mineral of choice for their fabled sunstones, mentioned in the 13th-century Viking saga of Saint Olaf.




    Because of the rhombohedral shape of calcite crystals, "they refract or polarize light in such a way to create a double image," Mike Harrison, coordinator of the Alderney Maritime Trust, told LiveScience. This means that if you were to look at someone's face through a clear chunk of Icelandic spar, you would see two faces. But if the crystal is held in just the right position, the double image becomes a single image and you know the crystal is pointing east-west, Harrison said.


    First Evidence of Viking-Like 'Sunstone' Found : Discovery News



    Thought some may find it interesting. If I'm posting crap I shouldn't pls shout at me.

  2. #2
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    Far from crap, intresting post.

  3. #3
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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    cheers for sharing, interesting....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    Far from crap, intresting post.
    Perhaps, belonging to fringe archaeology/anthropology.

  5. #5
    Member Hypatia's Avatar
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    HOw cool, never heard of it, but now I want one

  6. #6
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    Yes, not crap...this is interesting.

  7. #7
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    I forsee a new Sunstone app. just likethe one where you point the phone skywards and see the orientation of the stars.

  8. #8
    Lord of Swine
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    I forsee a new Sunstone app. just likethe one where you point the phone skywards and see the orientation of the stars.

    Already done. Some quite clever.
    http://mashable.com/2011/06/21/astronomy-mobile-apps/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    I forsee a new Sunstone app. just likethe one where you point the phone skywards and see the orientation of the stars.
    One called sunseeker.
    Anyway.. phones have gps now.

  10. #10
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    First time I'd heard of these Sun Stones was last week watching episode 1 of Vikings.

    EZTV - TV Torrents Online

    Them finding one now ties in nicely with the show.

  11. #11
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    I may well be that only 10% of all the vikings that left for England made it.
    The other 90% got lost and perished at sea.
    Great navigators?
    We will never really know.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher View Post
    I may well be that only 10% of all the vikings that left for England made it.
    The other 90% got lost and perished at sea.
    Great navigators?
    We will never really know.
    Given the further casualties from raiding, that would give the a 95% casualty rate.
    Unlikely they would have been so successful, or persisted if that was the case. They couldn't have successfully taken north east England if 90% of their force was lost.
    Where did you read this?

  13. #13
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    You don't know how many left might have been loads.
    Point is they wouldn't really know what their losses were.
    I don't think they left as one organised army unit... more like a few at a time.
    We just don't know... say in 1 year 50,000 left for blighty, maybe only say 10,000 made it.... rest lost at sea.
    Wouldn't surprise me.
    Falling asleep and waking up is not the same as passing out and coming to.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher View Post
    I may well be that only 10% of all the vikings that left for England made it.
    The other 90% got lost and perished at sea.
    Great navigators?
    We will never really know.
    Why would that be? It's only a little over 300 miles from Denmark to England, and impossible to miss sailing west, where the sun sets or the sunstone points.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainfall
    It's only a little over 300 miles from Denmark to England
    How long did it take the vikings to cross from norway to ireland by longboat? - Yahoo! Answers

    This guy reckons 2-3 Days sailing from Norway to England, and 8-9 to Dublin.

  16. #16
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    Exactly... there are tides of course.
    Dunno but if west is all you need why do you need a sun stone.
    Where else did they go.
    And where did they buy their Admiraty charts and get their weather from.
    Please, please, please don't tell me they predicted weather from the clouds.
    That's moronic.
    Trust me you really can't... despite what books might tell you.

  17. #17
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    Possibly confusing a stat about Vikings staying in England and Normandy as opposed to casualties.
    A longboat was a massive investment at the time and carried the cream of Danish manhood. If they were taking 95 % losses it would have been impossible for them to continue and eventually resettle in daneland and elsewhere. Just not enough Danes to sustain it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher
    Dunno but if west is all you need why do you need a sun stone.
    Where else did they go.
    According to the Vikings TV show, when they were going west they were in danger of drifting south so they used a floating sun dial at mid day to keep them on track and if there was no sun then they used the sun stone to pick it up through the clouds.

  19. #19
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    Prevailing south westerlys.
    Should think thousands died.
    Yes a Viking ship may have been capable of 8 knots... flat out... bear in mind that a modern sailing yacht.... recreational... is better for not a lot more.

  20. #20
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    I jest with you really.
    Most of it was done with sundials etc.
    It's all very well knowing which way you're going as long as you know which way you're meant to be going.

  21. #21
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    Ja well no fine.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher View Post
    Exactly... there are tides of course.
    Dunno but if west is all you need why do you need a sun stone.
    Where else did they go.
    And where did they buy their Admiraty charts and get their weather from.
    Please, please, please don't tell me they predicted weather from the clouds.
    That's moronic.
    Trust me you really can't... despite what books might tell you.
    A Viking longship was far bigger than the three boats that took Columbus over the ocean. It was also faster, 15 knots in good winds. What's the problem with navigation? They knew were east and west were by the sun, under cloudy skies by the sunstone, and north by the polar star.

  23. #23
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    how can you really tell East from West with that stone, not clear

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly
    how can you really tell East from West with that stone, not clear
    This explains why we were never invaded by the Belgium's.

    The sun stone is just used to locate the sun when there's too much cloud cover. It basically see's through the clouds. They then needed other sundials to work out their position and probably used the rising sun in the morning to figure out east and west.

  25. #25
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    There's a shot here in the first 5 secs of what the floating sundial possibly looked like. There's no shots of the sun stone.

    The bird in it is worth a squirt.


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